Friday, February 23, 2007

Altmire May Have Competition...

Rumor has it lately that Jason Almire (D-4), who defeated Melissa Hart last year for her U.S. Congress seat, will have some competition if he runs for re-election in 2008.

Several republican names have been floating around recently and at this point, only one potential candidate has taken the first step to jumping in the race.

From the Trib:

Former Allegheny County Councilman Ron Francis of Ben Avon has filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to begin fundraising efforts to capture the seat Altmire won from Republican Melissa Hart in November, reported last week.

Francis was a former county council member who chose not to seek re-election a few years back. This Tattler is still gathering information on him.

Other names have been discussed lately including a former gubernatorial candidate and current state representative.

Lynn Swann, who ran unsuccessfully for governor last year, has not ruled out a bid for the seat. State Rep. Mike Turzai, who ran for the seat in 1998 and lost to former U.S. Rep. Ron Klink of Murrysville, also has been mentioned as a possible candidate.

Turzai has been representing northern Allegheny County communities for several years in the state house. He has prior political experience in addition to his current position. This can only make this Tattler think that he would be a formidable candidate for the U.S. Congress seat.

Swann, on the other hand, lacks political experience but offers various qualities that could help him gain the GOP nomination including name recognition and his commitment to the community.

This Tattler thinks there may be quite a few republican candidates on the primary ballot in 2008.

One additional local leader that comes to mind (but is not in the rumors) is State Sen. Jane Orie. She has been in the position for several years and has previous political experience, however it's unclear if she's interested in the position.

At this point, It would be hard to suggest one candidate over another. There is still less than two years before the next election and it's interesting to take a glimpse at the infancy of the political race.

If I hear anything else, I'll let you know.

Working to keep you posted...

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